Orange High School AD, soccer coach, comments on renovation plans


PEPPER PIKE, Ohio – The Orange Board of Education heard questions and concerns from the Orange High School sports director and head coach on Monday, Sept. 27, regarding plans to renovate the high school’s locker rooms, coaching room, and weight room.

An estimate by the Albert M. Higley Co., which is providing renovation costs for both the changing room project and a new entrance entrance at Orange High School – at a cost of approximately $ 3.87 million – has been submitted to the board for review.

A draft contract from ThenDesign Architecture to provide designs for the new main entrance to the high school – priced at $ 79,450 – was also presented to the board of directors.

AM Higley of Cleveland is contracting the project and ThenDesign of Willoughby is designing it.

It was determined that the boys and girls’ locker rooms would benefit from a renovation and that the main entrance to the high school needed upgrading for security reasons, Superintendent Lynn Campbell told the board at previous meetings.

The board’s goal is to approve ThenDesign’s contract at its next meeting on October 11th at 6pm until the plans are approved by the Pepper Pike Architectural Review Board on October 8th.

Construction documents for the dressing room renovation have been finalized unless the board decides changes are needed, Higley regional vice president Andy Hudak told the board on Sept. 13.

CEO Rebecca Boyle said it would be helpful for the board to hear any questions or concerns OHS Athletic Director Tim Porter has about the locker room project plans. Adam Bechlem, the Lions’ senior soccer coach, was also invited to address the board of directors.

“We just want to make sure that when we tackle this significant project that we are on the right track in terms of the type of rooms and how the rooms are laid out,” said Executive Vice President Melanie Weltman.

Porter said he met with most of the coaches in high school and they looked at the plans.

“One coach was kind of into the technology aspect,” he said. “Will we now be able to have the cameras and projectors in this room like here?

“If you look at the artist’s interpretations, it seems that these will be in there.”

Campbell confirmed that wiring a projector and the screens designed for a large-screen viewing room are definitely part of the project.

Porter said another coach raised concerns that whether the exercise room and weight room were so close together would be an issue.

“How do children get into the training room or the weight room without going through a locker room?” He asked.

“Even in a weight room, there is always a lot of loud music,” he continued. “(Coaches) have been talking about, ‘Would that affect the training room to do everything the trainer has to do?'”

Weltman said she also wanted to know if the weight room was “appropriately placed and big enough”.

“This is a big project and we want to get it right,” she said. “Once we do this, it’s done and we don’t want it to be wrong; We want it to be great. “

On an architectural drawing, Campbell indicated that the new weight room and coaching area would each have a separate entrance from a hallway.

“The hall is also accessible from the changing rooms,” he said. “A third option would be to come straight out of the gym.

“The weight room and the trainer area are separated by a wall.”

Board member Beth Wilson-Fish asked, “What type of soundproofing is provided?”

“There are many steps we can take to ensure there is no audio broadcast,” said Nathan Rish, senior project manager at Higley.

Will weight machines be new?

Board member Jeffrey Leikin said he heard that the high school weight machines were “old”.

“I don’t know when we last updated our weight machines,” he said. “This is something the (Orange Schools) Foundation or the (Orange) Booster might be interested in if the Board of Directors drives this project forward.”

Bechlem said most of the equipment in the weight room was purchased 13 years ago in his first year at school.

“My question is how much (new strength equipment) are we getting?” He asked. “Everything has to be brand new.

“Our stuff just got beaten up after 13 years. I think that’s a long lifespan for a lot of these devices. “

Campbell said there were no plans to buy new strength equipment “at this point”.

“That doesn’t mean that couldn’t change, but that wasn’t part of the scope of the project,” he said. “We wanted to move the current equipment, but we can talk about it or have a plan for moving the equipment.”

Leikin said he would like the district to look at new equipment in the weight room “just to get an idea of ​​what the cost is”.

“If we have a brand new weight room, we should give it a chance to use new equipment and turn it into a new facility,” he said.

Bechlem said, “I want to impress you with how old this device is.”

“I mean, it just takes a beating,” he said. “I would highly recommend that you swap out this equipment if you want to set up a brand new room.”

Campbell replied, “Point taken.”

Bechlem also asked how big the space for the weight room will be.

“We are a medium-sized school and our student body is relatively large,” he said. “We have a lot of sport.

“Will we be able to accommodate all athletes who want to use this space at the times they want to use it?”

Bechlem said the number of student-athletes training and weightlifting with a coach is “off the charts” and “we’re bursting at the seams everywhere”.

“I’ve been involved in athletics here for 14 years, and in the past year and a half, despite COVID, there has been the highest number of student-athletes ever to use our facilities,” he said. “Once we get back to normal – really normal – that number will just keep increasing, especially as we build new facilities.”

Campbell said the proposed square footage of the new weight room is roughly the same as the existing weight room.

“When we’re bursting at the seams with this square footage, I’m always looking to the future,” said Wilson-Fish. “How will this locker room serve our future students when we know we may have an increase in enrollments?

“We have a lot more sports now, too,” she continued. “I think we are at the peak of the number of sports.”

Campbell replied, “We always have the option of a swing room.”

“It would be a blessing if our athletics grew to the point where we needed two weight rooms,” he said. “The good news is that by renovating this wasted locker room – which is not currently useful to anyone – we have turned it into a weight room, now we have very useful space that we have given up that we could return to.

“That would be my suggestion, besides building on the building, which in my opinion was not the intention either.”

Wilson-Fish asked if the newly renovated girls’ locker room would be used for the soccer teams that play at Orange.

“We have to do that,” Porter said. “I don’t think we have much choice at this point.”

Campbell said it would be best if the board of directors discussed the front entry project when an architect from ThenDesign comes to the next meeting on October 11th.

New sports trainer

In another move, the board approved a contract with the university clinics health system to provide an exercise coach for that school year at a cost of $ 75,103. Amanda Marino was appointed to this position.

Jason Pelc also received a two-year contract with a salary of $ 65,000 to serve as a supervisory officer effective October 18.

COVID-19 update

Campbell said the county’s COVID-19 dashboard was “still going strong.”

The dashboard updated on Monday (Sept. 27) indicates that the district has three active COVID-19 cases from students, no active employee cases, and two quarantines, both students.

For this academic year, the district has a cumulative 20 student cases and three personnel cases.

Meeting with the mayors

A special board meeting with the mayors of the five major wards serving the district is scheduled for October 21 at 8:00 am at the Pepper Pike Learning Center.

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